Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Who am I and why in the world am I blogging?

That's a loaded question, but one I hope to eventually answer through this blog. With G-d's help, I'll find some support on this journey as well.

First of all, this is an anonymous blog. It needs to be such, or I would lose the ability to share my truth, whether anyone else wants to read it or not. Please do not spend time trying to figure out who I am. It will do none of us any good.

Second of all, I am sort of a convert. I say "convert" because I went through a proper conversion over ten years ago, yet some ideas and customs are still unfamiliar. I say "sort of" because my maternal grandmother was born and initially raised Jewish, yet through a convoluted family history involving a mysterious death, betrayal, adoption, and antisemitism, she was later baptized and rasied Christian. She married a Christian, raised her children (including my mother) as Christian, and I was the one who broke the mold, so to speak.

Third, I'm happily married to a Jewish man and have two wonderful children as of this writing. We are trying for a third, praying that G-d will bless us with another child, but it has been almost a year and it's hard to have faith.

Fourth, I am active in my shul and though they drive me to tears sometimes, they are wonderful people.

Fifth and last, I cope or struggle (depending on the day) with what was mis-diagnosed after many years of misdiagnoses as Bipolar II disorder (heavy on the depression, not nearly enough mania), anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Update: as of April 2007, the Bipolar II diagnosis has been scrapped. What doctors had told me were manic episodes were, it turns out, severe anxiety attacks. This explains why antipsychotic meds (used to treat bipolar) turned me into a zombie and I still needed an antidepressant to maintain even basic functionality.

Current diagnosis stands as Major Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder with Obsessive-Compulsive Features, Seasonal Affect Disorder, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

That's more than enough diagnoses. I'd rather collect coffee cups.

The depression and anxiety have clearly been proven chemical and inherited from my mother's side of the family. The PTSD probably has something to do with being raised in a violent home. All of it impacts my relationship with G-d, not to mention others around me.

I hope and pray, with G-d's help, to find some clarity, direction, support, and guidance.


Ilana-Davita said...

I've just discovered your blog, thanks to westbakmama's blog. I would like to say that I sympathise with your ailment; all the more so as three people around me have been diagnosed with bipolar disorders in the past year: a close friend (male), a very close cousin (female) and another's cousin husband. I've seen and still see the pain but also improvements thanks to medication and therapy.
I think your blog is a great idea in that respect. Do not lose hope. You'll be in my prayers (you may wish to send me your Hebrew name and your mother's name, just feel free to do whatever you like best).

Rivka said...

Ilana-Davita: thank you. Medication and therapy are extremely useful. I'm sorry you've been so touched by this through your friends and family. I read somewhere that 1 out of every 4 people is affected by an emotional disorder, either having one or someone close having one. I think that's actually a very low number.

Thank you for your encouragement and prayers.